The Book of Citrus Fruits

Citrus02

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TASCHEN

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Specifications

Binding: hardcover with printed cover on cloth
Number of pages: 384 pp
Product dimensions: 276 × 395 mm
Special features: numbered copies

2020

J. C. Volkamer. The Book of Citrus Fruits

Have you ever thought of citrus fruits as celestial bodies, angelically suspended in the sky? Perhaps not, but J. C. Volkamer (1644–1720) did—commissioning an extravagant and breathtaking series of large-sized copperplates representing citrons, lemons, and bitter oranges in surreal scenes of majesty and wonder.

Ordering plants by post mostly from Italy, Germany, North Africa, and even the Cape of Good Hope, the Nuremberg merchant Volkamer was a devotee of the fragrant and exotic citrus at a time when such fruits were still largely unknown north of the Alps. His garden came to contain a wide variety of specimens, and he became so obsessed with the fruits that he commissioned a team of copperplate engravers to create 256 plates of 170 varieties of citrus fruits, many depicted life size, published in a two-volume work. The first volume appeared in 1708, with the impressively lengthy title The Nuremberg Hesperides, or: A detailed description of the noble fruits of the citron, lemon and bitter orange; how these may be correctly planted, cared for and propagated in that and neighboring regions.

In both volumes, Volkamer draws on years of hands-on experience to present a far-reaching account of citrus fruits and how to tend them—from a meticulous walk-through of how to construct temporary orangeries, glasshouses, and hothouses for growing pineapples to commentary on each fruit variety, including its size, shape, color, scent, tree or shrub, leaves, and country of origin.

Text by TASCHEN

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Le muse inquiete

01

Customer

La Biennale di Venezia

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Specifications

Binding: paperback, open spine with cloth
Number of pages: 456 pp
Product dimensions: 210 × 270 mm
Special features: 

2020

Le Muse inquiete

In presenting the exhibition, Roberto Cicutto, President of La Biennale di Venezia, expressed his gratitude “for the generous support that the directors and staff of the Historical Archives and the entire Biennale have given to this project, parallel to their work on the exhibitions and festivals. It is one that bolsters La Biennale’s role as a hub of research in the contemporary arts, a fundamental driving force for investigating the present and future, and a strategic tool for development, even in terms of economic growth.”

For this exhibition, the directors have selected rare footage, first-hand accounts, and a range of artworks, following various lines of research to examine the many times when the history of La Biennale has overlapped with the history of the world—revealing or generating institutional rifts and political and ethical crises, but also new creative languages.

The exhibition is laid out in the rooms of the Central Pavilion and weaves its way through all six disciplines: from Fascism (1928-1945) to the Cold War and new world order (1948-1964), to the unrest of ’68 and the Biennales chaired by Carlo Ripa di Meana (1974-78), then from the postmodernism to the first Architecture Biennale and until the 1990s, and the beginning of globalization (see attached document “The Rooms” with details).

In a period of global instability that over the course of just a few months has brought a succession of environmental disasters, new pandemics, and social revolutions, La Biennale di Venezia serves as a wellspring and channel for the most innovative currents in the artistic disciplines of our era—but also continues to bear witness to the many shifts and crises that have supervened from the late nineteenth century to the present, like a seismometer recording the tremors of history.

Text by La Biennale di Venezia

Graphic project by TOMOTOMO

Photo by Louis De Belle 

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“MOM” Charlie Engman

MOM_02

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Edition Patrick Frey

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Specifications

Binding: Hardback with cloth
Number of pages: 218 pp
Product dimensions: 205 × 275 mm
Special features: 

2020

MOM

The book’s title reveals the identity of its protagonist: Kathleen McCain Engman has been posing for her son Charlie since 2009. And yet MOM shows us a face we never really get to know: while we soon become acquainted with her freckled complexion and intense gaze, her position in the images becomes increasingly unclear. Engman first began shooting his mother because she was available, ever-willing to meet the demands of one of her children. But what began as a casual, organic process evolved into an intense collaboration. The result is neither a family album nor a filial tribute but a much deeper and far more complex interaction: one that raises questions about the limits of familiarity, the rules and boundaries of roles and representation, vulnerability and control, and what it means to look and to be seen.

Text by Edition Patrick Frey

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Japanese Woodblock Prints

Japanese-woodblock-cover

Customer

TASCHEN

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Specifications

Binding: Cloth hardback + laminated and printed clamshell
Number of pages: 622 pp
Product dimensions: 29 x 39.50 cm
Special features: 

2019

Japanese Woodblock Prints

From Edouard Manet’s portrait of naturalist writer Émile Zola sitting among his Japanese art finds to Van Gogh’s meticulous copies of the Hiroshige prints he devotedly collected, 19th-century pioneers of European modernism made no secret of their love of Japanese art. In all its sensuality, freedom, and effervescence, the woodblock print is single-handedly credited with the wave of japonaiserie that first enthralled France and, later, all of Europe—but often remains misunderstood as an “exotic” artifact that helped inspire Western creativity.

The fact is that the Japanese woodblock print is a phenomenon of which there exists no Western equivalent. Some of the most disruptive ideas in modern art—including, as Karl Marx put it, that “all that is solid melts into air”—were invented in Japan in the 1700s and expressed like never before in the designs of such masters as Hokusai, Utamaro, and Hiroshige in the early 19th century.

This book lifts the veil on a much-loved but little-understood art form by presenting the 200 most exceptional Japanese woodblock prints in their historical context. Ranging from the 17th-century development of decadent ukiyo-e, or “pictures of the floating world,” to the decline and later resurgence of prints in the early 20th century, the images collected in this edition make up an unmatched record not only of a unique genre in art history, but also of the shifting mores and cultural development of Japan.

From mystical mountains to snowy passes, samurai swordsmen to sex workers in shop windows, each piece is explored as a work of art in its own right, revealing the stories and people behind the motifs. We discover the four pillars of the woodblock print—beauties, actors, landscapes, and bird-and-flower compositions—alongside depictions of sumo wrestlers, kabuki actors, or enticing courtesans—rock stars who populated the “floating world” and whose fan bases fueled the frenzied production of woodblock prints. We delve into the horrifying and the obscure in prints where demons, ghosts, man-eaters, and otherworldly creatures torment the living—stunning images that continue to influence Japanese manga, film, and video games to this day. We witness how, in their incredible breadth, from everyday scenes to erotica, the martial to the mythological, these works are united by the technical mastery and infallible eye of their creators and how, with tremendous ingenuity and tongue-in-cheek wit, publishers and artists alike fought to circumvent government censorship.

Three years in the making, this XXL edition presents reproductions of the finest extant impressions from the vaults of museums and private collections across the globe—many newly photographed especially for this project. Some 17 stunning fold-outs invite us to study even the subtlest details, while extensive descriptions guide us through this frantic period in Japanese art history.

Text by TASCHEN

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